Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

Combat ships to fall in price soon

elite-repairsThere has been a lot of rumblings from the non-trading section of the Elite community on Frontier’s forums about the high purchase cost of the ships above the Cobra.

The main complaint being that these ships are far above the income of a bounty hunter that doesn’t do any trading. While I think the costs are not insurmountable, they are without doubt at lot harder to achieve in anything like the same timescale, putting ships like the Clipper and Vulture out of most combat pilot’s price range.

It seems Frontier have been listening (or reading the forums at least), since in this week’s development update, Michael Brookes has said:-

In a minor update released before the end of the week we’ll reduce the price of non-trade ships and abolish the way fuel costs are scaled by ship type.

Which will get a “woohoo!” from some. What happens about those of us (me included) who have already bought one of these ships? Do we get any credits back? It’s a lot of monies…
Michael Brookes replied to this question:-

For players who currently own those ships we will provide a credits rebate for the difference - however this will happen after the price change.

Elite 1.2 Gives You Wings

wings_logoThe new Wings update (1.2) was released yesterday and apart from a raft of bug fixes, a load of new features including new internal upgrades and two new ships, what has Frontier ever done for us?

  • You can make a wing with anyone in the same system as you, or with friends anywhere in the galaxy.
  • You can join or leave a wing at any time.
  • You can communicate using voice chat or text chat with Wing-mates.
  • You can see Wing-mates shields, hull, interdiction status and targets.
  • Wing-mates show on the galaxy map.
  • If activated in the functions panel, your ship's beacon will emit a "Wing Signal" for Wing-mates to find in super-cruise on their contacts TAB.
  • You can "nav lock" to Wing-mates so you all enter and exit super-cruise (even if interdicted) together and jump to hyperspace together. The group is limited to the jump range of the smallest ship.
  • When nav-locked, if you are out of range of your Wing-mates jump location, your ship will jump when you come into range of their FSD wake.
  • If in combat, all bounty and combat bonds are shared equally with those Wing-mates who caused damage to a target.
  • If exploring as a wing, all wing members can sell their collective data. Newly discovered systems will be tagged with all the members of the wing.
  • If a single wing member is on a "kill 5 pirates" mission, if that player scores a hit on a pirate that a wing member kills, the kill will still count towards the mission objective.
  • You cannot commit crimes against wingmen, and no authorities will intervene as long as your actions do not affect other ships or structures.
  • When a wingman makes a profitable trade, all other wingmen will receive a trade dividend claim, a small, profit-based credit payment awarded by star ports.

See Frontier's tutorial video here.

Wear and tear not so painful in 1.2

elite-repairsLast night I took my Anaconda for a spin in a high-density combat area. Yes, I know. Very foolish and likely to end in an insurance claim or at best a whopping repair bill.

But no.

After some serious exchanges of gunfire and a lot of bounty collected I was doing really well. Having a highly rated and well armed Anaconda helps, obviously.

Then a stray shot (or maybe two) caused by status to switch to hostile on both factions! Suddenly everybody wants a piece of me, including the capital ship. Shields are down and alarms are ringing and it is lost past run-like-hell O’Clock.

As any Anaconda flyer will tell you, nothing else except another ‘Conda can mass lock you, so I jumped into super-cruise in seconds. Then limped back to station for repairs, having had 7% knocked off my hull. Normally this “minor” damage would set me back at least five figures, possibly six. Certainly any damage to an Anaconda is looking to cost 100,000s of credits.


So I was very pleased to find the revised damage bill for 1.2 was not dissimilar to that of my Cobra in the same situation. Excellent Smithers!

PS4 will get Elite but consoles won't interact with PCs

over-the-fenceThe claims of XBOX exclusivity were greatly exaggerated.
It seems the PS4 version will follow along after the XBOX version in due course.
But it has also come out that the PC Elite community won't be able to pew-pew with their console cousins, mainly due to the constrained and limited nature of console software updates in Microsoft's and SONY's walled gardens.

David Braben, speaking in an interview with games website PC Games N said “I think the challenges for us, which sort of fights against it, is we’ve also said that we’ll continue to do updates across all platforms, and what we didn’t want was PC updates to be held up for whatever reason, like if there’s a delay on another platform."

It's pretty clear that if the PC community were told an update was on infinite hold while SONY or Microsoft signed off on the console version, the news would go down like a cup of cold sick.

Another day and another platform

xbox-logoFrontier have announced the XBOX One version of Elite: Dangerous.

Is this good or bad? Well, from my point of view, it’s like hearing there’s going to be a new MacDonalds burger available in France. Good for them. The question is “will they be using my beef to do it?”

In all likelihood, it shouldn’t make any difference, as it’s the Cobra Engine being ported more than anything – the game content is already created. PS4 players will miss out though, as this is going to be an XBOX “exclusive” (except it’s on the PC and soon the Mac too – so exclusivity means “PS4 excluded”).

Frontier have said “Elite: Dangerous on Xbox One will be the complete and authentic Elite: Dangerous experience. It will not be "dumbed down". We’ll be working with an all-new audience, but that doesn’t mean a change in direction for the game, and nor does it mean slowing development on the PC version.”

The trailer for the XBOX version is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAwmbvRJkzM

The Zorgon Peterson Fer-de-lance

fdl-spaceThe Fer-de-lance is a medium size ship that is a fast-moving platform for firing lots of guns. Described as a “luxury bounty hunter” ship, it’s tough, well armed and probably expensive - hence the "luxury" tab.

It looks very nice, the shape is like an upturned boat with wings painted like a bowling shoe! The sounds - think electric Ferrari – are as sexy as the Clipper. With FOUR medium hard-points and one HUGE hard-point, it's the most heavily armed ship after the Anaconda.

The interior is very shiny with glossy textures and rounded edges. Very reminiscent of the Clipper, despite being from another manufacturer.




With no official word, it’s guesswork. This is the internals layout. Despite the (alleged) huge price point of 90-100M Cr the FDL is quite cheap to trip out.

fdl-hull fdl-hardpoints

With Class 4 FSD and Shields, the top equipment costs 1.6M (a bit less than the Python's 51M Cr Class A items)

Jump range is not high on this ship, not really a surprise, but fully loaded out (like mine) it still jumps a respectable 15Lyr and with a Class 4A fuel scoop, you take mere seconds to refuel. You’ll only get four or five such jumps out of the 8T fuel tank though, so scooping isn’t optional.

With D rated internals and no armour, the ship jumps close to 18Lyr.

Let’s face it though, you are not going to buy this to go exploring.


The true beauty of this ship is in its fighter capability. It’s the great white shark of Elite. With the four medium & one huge hard-point for weapons you can devise a load-out that kicks any butt.

I tried a stint with four Class 2E pulse-lasers and a Class 4B cannon, then four Class 2F multi-cannons and a Class 3C Beam laser. Both configurations were pretty effective, but the pulse/cannon combo had the advantage of not running out of ammo very fast.

People say to me “Why isn’t the Fer-de-lance as fast as a Viper?” and I reply “Because it doesn’t have to be!”

My advice to traders is, if you see and FDL coming, run away…

The Core Dynamics Vulture

vulture_smallThe Vulture is here! The heavy fighter we've been promised and it's very different.
For a start it has "only" two weapon hard points.

It's the size of a Lakon 6 but as nippy as a Cobra and kicks like a horse.

The first thing you notice about the Vulture is the engine sound. If a cement mixer lorry barrel ran on an electric motor and span at 100mph, it would sound like a Vulture’s engine.

The cockpit is small and the pilot sits at the front alone. Very much like the Federal Dropship, there are steps back into the ship to your right and the co-pilot sits on a second level behind and above the pilot’s left.

On the Oculus rift, you can see down through the glass to ground below the ship’s nose.

When I first took off, I expected it to be heavy, a brawler like the Python. Not so. It leapt off the pad and thundered out into space.


From Dalton Gateway, I jumped to the next system, as this was faster than the 100,000 Ls trip to the Nav Point. The ship is very responsive and manoeuvres like a Cobra. With the two Class 3 hard points set up with C3 Beams I was burning through small ships like Eagles and Sidewinders in seconds - shields or not!
Larger ships like Pythons and Anacondas were taken down easily without resorting to shield cells. NPC's are easier than human opponents, but even so, this is one tough cookie!


Nothing official yet, but generally the base ship costs the same as military grade bulkheads, which in this case cost 19.7M credits.

vulture-hull vulture-internals

The good news is that the Class 4 FSD tops out at the 1.6M A rated and the shields and thrusters are Class 5, which tops out at 5M, so the total upgrades are far cheaper than something like a Python or Clipper.

I had a go with an alternative layout using 1 3C Beam and a smart missile rack. Fish in a barrel! Melt their shields, hit 'em with a missile or two and collect the bounty!

1.2 Beta released

sm_pythonIf you've got access, get downloading! Debug camera, Wings, Sounds, Ships it's all there!

The Beta of the much awaited "Wings" update has been released. So what's it like?

Well, there's two new ships and I will cover those in detail, but we have two additional short-range fighter craft with some impressive combat capability.

The full release notes are available on the Frontier forums here.

Sounds. The audio has been buffed again with new effects for FSD offline/online and disengage super-cruise. Little things everywhere.

The debug camera. You can now grab screenshots from outside your ship. The camera is sluggish and when engaged (with CTRL-ALT-SPACE) you have no control over your ship. This means pretty pictures, but no third-person play. The perfect compromise.